Reconnect: A Couples Weekend for all identities, November 24-26, Saskatoon
This event is co-presented by the Saskatoon Unitarians and Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble for people who are in intimate relationships and who want to enrich those relationships. People of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome. Download the event poster here. (PDF)
The facilitator, Brian Mitchell-Walker, and our hosts, the Saskatoon Unitarians, will strive to create a safe, inclusive space with accessible main floor and gender-neutral washrooms so that those in relationship can learn to be in the moment with their partner and speak their truth.
There will also be an opportunity to explore how each relationship is unique and how we can support all to be in healthy and caring relationships. Please help us promote this event by sharing the poster, and encouraging others to visit https://ucsaskatoon.org/event/reconnect-couples-weekend/ for more information.
Congregations are ask to consider sponsoring attendees that may benefit from a weekend away that might not be able to afford this low price of $125/couple. If you have any questions you can contact Brian Mitchell-Walker at email@example.com or Kathryn Green at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gathering, the United Church’s national liturgy and prayer magazine, has released its Advent/ Christmas 2017/ Epiphany edition. This issue shares worship materials that honour the diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and gender roles, and shares resources for speaking and acting inclusively in our worship and our congregations.
Thank you to editor Susan Lukey for offering this important, joyful, and often painful focus as our church moves into the 30th anniversary of the 1988 decision that opened our LGBTQ communities to full membership.
If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can purchase a downloadable RTF file of the prayers only for $4.95. Or purchase a print edition of the full magazine for $10 plus shipping.
Please help the Intercultural Network renew its work with our Conference. Co-conveners Nobuko Iwai and Brian Mitchell-Walker would like your thoughts on your own context and your wisdom on priorities for the work over the next year and a half. Whether you’re new to intercultural work or have been involved for years, your thoughts are very important. The survey will take 10-20 minutes to fill out and your responses can be confidential. Here it is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VVL63NZ
Trans* people are ministers and leaders in the United Church and across the country. They are members of our families, our loved ones, our friends, colleagues, and neighbours, and they deserve to have their identities protected by the law. As an Affirming Conference, we invite you to support Bill C-16 through the United Church of Canada’s action.
Bill C-16 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression. It will also amend the Canadian Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression as a recognized group when offences are motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate.
Bill C-16 passed its third reading in the House of Commons in November 2016, and is now in its second reading in the Senate. Some groups are actively campaigning the Senate to block this bill. Please take action by contacting your senator as soon as possible, and urge the Senate to make Bill C-16 law.
Saskatchewan Senators: https://sencanada.ca/en/senators
Raynell Andreychuk email@example.com
Denise Batters: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lillian Eva Dyck: email@example.com
David Tkachuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Wallin: email@example.com
Affirming Sunday materials for May 7 now available
Our Conference-wide Affirming Sunday is May 7 2017, and Grosvenor Park United Church is offering the liturgy, stories, and children’s resources this year.
Worship Liturgy and worship resources are available.
Hours after Saskatoon’s Pride parade ended, we heard about the mass murder of LGBT+ people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This hate crime is now the biggest mass shooting by a single person in American history. It joins the murder of over 300 Lakota people at Wounded Knee in 1890 as a deadly expression of hatred and dominance.
In the words of our Moderator, “If there is a word of hope to be uttered in the face of such tragedy, this is it: When we stand together in defiance of hatred, we are stronger and we are safer. No act of violence can strip us of our humanity—particularly when we respond to homophobia, transphobia and Islamophobia with love.”
Please read the Moderator’s statement and use it in worship: http://www.united-church.ca/news/moderator-speaks-about-orlando-shooting
Click here to read and share Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble’s statement on the Orlando hate crime, and feel free to use this at Sunday worship and anywhere else.
If your ministry is Affirming, or feels that it can be in respectful solidarity with LGBT people and communities, please prayerfully consider how you can express that solidarity. Affirming ministries in the Conference can help; they include all the congregations listed here, as well as River Bend Presbytery, St. Andrew’s College, and the Conference itself. Our public witness to God’s unconditional love is needed.
This May 1st, honour inclusivity by using our Affirming Sunday resources in worship. Eastside United in Regina has written resources for us this year. Click here to see the resource.
Being an “Affirming” United Church means fulling including LGBTQ people and communities in the entire life and work of our church. Saskatchewan Conference is Affirming, and has an additional ten Affirming ministries within. Several others are in process.
Holding an Affirming worship this May, or at any other time, sends a crucial message of welcome and support to a community that is too often excluded from church circles.
To find out more about becoming Affirming, see the Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble website: http://affirmunited.ause.ca/affirming-ministries/
The Intercultural Network welcomes new supporters! To get in touch with co-conveners Cindy Bourgeois and Yvonne Terry, email Julie Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org